First off, the performances are top-notch. I wouldn't have thought that Robert Pattinson had acting chops on the same level as Willen Dafoe, but both men are outstandingly good in the film.
That said, this really strikes me as an overly long slog where professional critics feel the need to declare it wonderful so they can feel better about themselves that they somehow really understood a meandering, impregnable movie. I am usually a fan of dense, hard-to-access stories that become more immersive and tightly knit after a second or third viewing but this is not that kind of film. It's actually easier to understand if you watch the trailer, and then skip over the first hour of the movie. That to me says the film badly needs cutting and the director was so in love with the photography that he lost any semblance of coherency.
It is gorgeous to look at, and again, the characters are incredibly well played, but I can't quite shake the feeling that if every scene was shortened by 50%, this would have been an incredibly taut, riveting thriller. As it is, it's too overly dull, plus has too many scenes dissecting Dafoe's character's penchant for the occasional fart.
Great premise, the most beautiful photography in a film I've seen in a long time, excellent performances, all ruined by a director that wants. . .to. . .linger. . .so. . .long. . .on. . .every. . .single. . .shot. . .